Beyoncé’s BET speech: ‘Vote like our life depends on it’

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Beyoncé urged black communities to vote in the upcoming US elections, as she accepted an honour for her humanitarian work at the BET Awards.

Dedicating her award to protesters around the country, the star said: “You’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”

“I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system.

“We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does.”

Beyoncé was presented with her award by Michelle Obama, who praised the star’s commitment to the black community.

“You can see it in everything she does, from her music that gives voice to black joy and black pain, to her activism that demands justice for black lives.

“And she’s doing it all while staying devoted to her children and the loved ones she holds dear,” she continued. “To my girl, I just want to say – you inspire me. You inspire all of us.

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The BET Awards celebrate black artists and sports personalities. Previous recipients of the ceremony’s humanitarian award include boxer Muhammad Ali, music producer Quincy Jones and civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton.

The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, were reflected throughout this year’s ceremony.

DaBaby, who won best male hip-hop artist, re-enacted the last moments of Mr Floyd’s life, rapping his hit Rockstar with his face pressed against the ground as a police officer knelt on his neck.

The performance also featured images from protests, as dancers held signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund The Police”, as the rapper and Roddy Ricch danced on top of police cars.

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Twelve-year-old Keedron Bryant, who went viral on social media with a song about his fears of being a young African-American, opened the show with an a cappella performance of the poignant track, I Wanna Live.

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